Chapter 37 – Awakening
Brendel opened his eyes after waking up from his grandfather’s dream. He felt his forehead was completely cold from the perspiration. He looked up at the gloomy sky and breathed out slowly. There were immediate ways to shake off the dream prison, either by using equipment that strengthen the willpower attribute or special abilities. An example would be his innate talent, ‘Unyielding’.
But he realized subconsciously that it was not the best solution.
Regardless, the past memories of the old Brendel had merged together with his own. He was no longer just purely Brendel or Sophie, and they were now one and the same in one body. If he ignored the old Brendel’s weaknesses, then one day he would be unable to look at his own weaknesses.
He needed to recognize for what he was now, to be able to accept everything that happened in his past.
This growth was not limited to just his mind— Accepting Brendel’s past had benefited him a great deal. Brendel’s grandfather personally taught his grandson his swordsmanship, but Brendel had subconsciously sealed his own memories because he had given up on himself.
With all the memories of the young Brendel unlocked, the swordsmanship that he had learned merged within his soul.
[Just exactly what sort of swordsmanship is this?]
The past Brendel had sealed off his grandfather’s swordsmanship because he deemed himself unworthy to use it. Even so his innate talent in the sword enabled him to become the best fighter in Anchorite’s militia batch.
The current Brendel opened his character window, and saw it had changed from before:
Civilian Soldier [Military Swordsmanship (Level 3+1), Grappling techniques (Level 3), Tactical Theory (Level 0), Military Organization (Level 0)]
The levels in the ability panel could not go past the level of the profession, but equipment and mission rewards were exceptions. A normal human who trained for 30-40 years would have the same level 4 Swordsmanship, but it was impossibly rare to find it on an eighteen years old youth.
Brendel felt that if he managed to completely absorb what his other grandfather had taught him, he would have increased his level 4 military swordsmanship another 30% more in the XP panel. When he recalled the old veteran’s swordsmanship, he felt a chill creeping behind his back. That was at least a level 10 Aouine’s military swordsmanship, and the old veteran was definitely a legendary figure.
Brendel sat up from the ground with complicated thoughts. He looked across the mountain valley. The fog surrounding the Golden Demonic Tree felt like it had dissipated a little, indicating that the power of the dream world was weakening. When he looked at the girls, he found they had their eyes closed tightly, occasionally creasing their brows.
Romaine’s face was pale, but her expression was very peaceful.
[Good. It seems that her situation is not as bad as I thought. Once she receives a mental boost, the Golden Demonic Tree’s first stage would not be difficult to deal with.]
He went over to Freya and pressed his finger on her forehead. He hesitated just a little before selecting ‘Faith’.
The Golden Demonic Tree utilized negative emotions to bring people into a trap that it created. Players had to use positive emotions to handle things. From how he looked at Freya’s usual performance, he believed that her determined and resolute ways were just a form of protection to hide her weaknesses. He hoped that she had more self confidence, as it would allow her to mature into the Goddess of War.
…He suddenly realized the girls were currently defenseless. It was easy to take advantage of the girls. He could not help but look at two girls who were deeply asleep. The translucent appearance on Romaine’s forehead made him want to kiss it.
His heart beat painfully in his chest, and he quickly stopped his thoughts. Even though he liked the merchant girl, he was not a shameless person. He rubbed his forehead as stranger thoughts flared up in his mind.
Then he thought about his dream again to curb his stray thoughts.
His mentality was different after leaving that world. He felt like he had become stronger from that feeling of loss. He knew that he was not going to turn back to his past world now, and the meaning in his life was to finish walking the road before him—
After understanding the past Brendel’s desires, he was going to plan his own road. He knew the ‘War of the Black Rose’ was about to end soon, as the battle in the game only extended from the end of May to the end of July.
None of the nobles wanted to be involved in this battle.
This coincided with Madara’s plans as well. It was an unprecedented change for Aouine when Madara defeated the kingdom successfully, but Madara did not wish to provoke the Alliance of Light, and they had to retreat at some point. Since neither of the two kingdoms wanted to continue a battle of attrition, they opted for a truce.
It was somewhat of a farce, and Brendel knew that the Aouine he wanted to fight for was not the current Aouine.
He was waiting for the Regent Princess to take over the throne.
And during the time he waited for this event to take place, he would take his own actions. He knew that after the war ended, the royal family would want to commend people who stood out in the war, establishing heroic figures to assuage the hearts of the citizens. But he was uninterested in this title, and more to the point, he was indifferent to the antiquated system.
[But allowing Freya to take up some training in the capital is a good idea. What should I do in the meantime?]
Brendel pondered on the future. In front of him was the beginning of a chaotic era. He had limited strength on his own and he needed a land of his own. He had to gather people to support his ideals, and by using his own knowledge in the world’s future events and his own familiarity with it, he could definitely make his territory grow quickly.
[So where should I start? Walk down the path of Aouine’s internal affairs? … No, never mind about the fact that I won’t realize my plans in time, I don’t want to be involved in the upcoming wars too early. I have to restrain my actions so that I don’t stand out and get discovered by powerful factions.]
[Becoming the lord of some existing region is also a no, with the same reason as above. Another road I can take is to become a pioneer. Both the players and NPCs in the game had pioneers. In this dark world, not all lands are controlled by the nobles. The borders of the kingdom, the areas in between the civilized and savaged areas, and there were many other lands that had not been tilled, were ready to be taken]
[There’s a certain government decree, once a pioneer found a new land of their own, they could receive a position of nobility based on their size of the lands.]
These titles, however, were not to be used as hereditary titles, and most of the lands would ultimately be taken back by the kingdom and the holy cathedral after three generations. But there were still many people who were taken in by this route, and they gambled everything to find a land. Adventurers, mercenaries, illegal merchants, and even paladins from a legitimate background, as well as clergies, there were no differences here.
When he thought about the available lands, he became excited. He knew of many such lands near Aouine’s borders, and even though there were differences between them, all of them were valid choices. But when it came to the time to choose, he hesitated.
[I don’t really require a good location with a strong advantage in development, the key thing is to have a clandestine area, so it is best to choose those lands with ‘relics’ in them. Since I’m lacking in manpower and resources, I could also save a lot of effort by taking these areas over.]
He continued to go through his memories and finally decided on a place. It was a land that was remarkably famous in the game, but the players who owned the land committed a fatal error and allowed his enemies to burn it all down. It was a famous topic in the forums that did not die down and continuously brought up all the time.
He could envision countless people saying: “If ‘Valhalla’ was still around, it would surely be another different landscape right?”
He felt thrilled at this idea. He had also thought of this moment himself. If that legendary land was not destroyed, then the final development phase would have gone beyond anyone’s expectations.
[To think that I have a chance of realizing this fantasy with my own hands!]
He continued to fantasize wildly by himself, before realizing the person in front of him moved a little. Freya then opened her eyes and saw Brendel putting his finger on her forehead. She was puzzled for a moment before it disappeared quickly. She quickly woke up from her stupor and retreated backwards, blushing and looking at him.
Even if she did not say anything, Brendel was able to read the words on her face:
“S-shameless lout, what are you doing!”
He shook his head and wanted to explain, but Freya abruptly reacted like she had recalled something. Her blush deepened another shade: “Sorry, I……”
“It’s fine, alright, quickly give Romaine an alarm clock, and tell her to wake up.” He pretended to ease things over.
He coughed as he realized he had forgotten to explain. He explained the origin of ‘Faith’ and its uses in a hurry. Freya’s expressions became tense when she finished listening to the explanation that he thought was simple.
“W-why didn’t you let Romaine use it first?” She asked and stood up anxiously.
He was momentarily stunned.
[Hm? No matter how I slice it, you have a weaker mind, Miss Goddess of War–]
But before he finished his thoughts, Freya had already rushed over to Romaine’s side and picked her up.
She still had a peaceful expression, but Brendel discovered two streams of tears from Romaine’s face when Freya picked her up. His mouth went wide with shock.
“What’s going on!” He could not imagine that Romaine actually cried.
“I’ll tell you later.” Freya took a deep breath and put her hand on her forehead, but there was no reaction. She was taken aback for a moment and immediately said: “Turn your head away!”
“Turn away, hurry up, and no peeking!”
Brendel’s left eyebrow went up but he immediately nodded. Unfortunately, his curiosity was actually no less than Romaine, and after a while, he spied behind his back. He saw Freya hugging Romaine with their foreheads touching each other, and Freya muttered fretfully: “Little Romaine, hurry up and wake up. Have you forgotten our promise?”
He froze for just a little while. He did not expect the merchant girl who spoke whatever was on her mind to have her own secret, even though he knew they had a very good relationship. But he found Freya’s eyes glaring furiously at him before his surprise was over.
“Apologies, someone else inside me insisted on looking.” Brendel tried to blame someone else.
“Y-you devious, outrageous scumbag!” Freya lambasted him with crimson cheeks.